The design of the Suoi Re communal house in Vietnam was ranked second among five most outstanding works in the Gold Medal category of the Italian’s Barbara Cappochin Prize that honours the most innovative work in the field of energy saving and renewable energy technology.

Suoi Re communal house was designed by Hoang Thuc Hao and built from the materials found on the site such as rammed earth and bamboo.

Located in Cu Yen Commune, in the northern province of Hoa Binh , the house has been in use since December last year. It comprises a teaching area, library and meeting areas.

“It has become a familiar place for local inhabitants to send their children, hold meetings and play sports,” Hao said.

“For me, the best reward is the welcome of local inhabitants. The work is innovative and I hope that it becomes a model that is picked up in the midland,” he added.

In November this year, the communal house entered the shortlist at the World Architecture Festival Barcelona in Spain . On that occasion, Thao was invited to give a lecture on the communal house in the city.

The Barbara Cappochin Prize, which drew the participation of 383 designs this year, aims to heighten awareness and quality of projects and construction. The prize is open to architects worldwide and multidisciplinary teams led by architects.

Hao said that through various organised tours, many children from Hanoi visit the communal house and learn the basic notions of green living, the way to construct a house by materials found on site and to save energy.

“We should get a habit of living greenly, consuming greenly,” Hao said.

He is now working with his colleagues to build a 300 million VND (15,000 USD) communal house for the Red Dao ethnic group in Ta Phin village in Sapa, where they can gather together for meetings and also display their handicraft products./.